Bangalore International Centre had arranged a thought-provoking talk on “Understanding the Karnataka Election” by Prof. James Manor, on Tuesday, 4th June, 2013 at 6.30 PM.
Prof. Manor highlighted with minute details the outcome of the Karnataka state election, and its significance for politics in the state. He explained the evidence on voting patterns -- using data from the best opinion survey -- and on the actions of various parties and leaders. He explained this election in two contexts: by comparing it with previous Karnataka elections, and by considering recent trends in elections across India. The election’s implications for politics and state-society relations in Karnataka were also discussed by him.
In a lucid analysis of the trends in the current election, Prof. Manor highlighted the fact that corruption issues did not influence the voters by and large. BJP lost a lot of seats due to their inability to consolidate their support bases in the wake of their internal conflicts and the emergence of KJP. Congress on the other hand gained because the local leaders did not have much interference from the High Command in working out their strategy. He emphasized that a great dal depended on the ability of Congress to deliver a clean and stable pattern of governance during the next five years. Talking about the national politics, Prof. Manor felt that the General Elections in 2014 would not give a clear majority to any single party or group, but chances of a NDA government emerging appear to be comparatively brighter than a UPA-3. While he is not a betting person, Prof. Manor added with a twinkle in his eyes, he might put his money on Nitish Kumar!